4 Best Sights in Mount Tabor, Lower Galilee

Church of the Transfiguration

As far back as the Byzantine period, Christian tradition identified Mount Tabor as the "high mountain apart" that Jesus ascended with his disciples Peter, James, and John. There, report the Gospels, "he was transfigured before them" (Matthew 17:2) as a radiant white figure, flanked by Moses and Elijah. The altar of the present imposing church, which was consecrated in 1924, represents the tabernacle of Jesus that Peter suggested they build; those of Moses and Elijah appear as small chapels at the back of the church. Step up to the terrace to the right of the church doors for a great view of the Jezreel Valley to the west and south. From a platform on the Byzantine and Crusader ruins to the left of the modern church (watch your step), there is a panorama east and north over the Galilean hills. A nearby Franciscan pilgrim rest stop has refreshments and restrooms.

Off Rte. 7266, Israel
04-662--0720
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free

Marzipan Museum

In the same compound as the Tabor Winery, this charming museum contains explanations about almonds and delectable products made from locally grown almonds. If you have kids in tow, don't think twice about signing up for the fun marzipan-making workshop. (There's also a chocolate workshop.) Best of all, you take your creations home.

Mount Tabor

The domelike mountain, the region's highest, looms over one of the prettiest stretches of the Lower Galilee. Quilts of farmland kaleidoscope through the seasons as different crops grow, ripen, and are harvested. Modern woods of evergreens cover the hillsides, making this a lovely place for a walk or a hike. To get here from Route 7266, take the narrow switchback road that starts in a clearing between Shibli and the next village, Dabouriya.

Apart from the natural beauty, Mount Tabor and its immediate surroundings have considerable biblical history. About 32 centuries ago, Israelite warriors of the prophetess-judge Deborah and her general, Barak, routed a Canaanite chariot army that had gotten bogged down in the mud. The modern kibbutz of Ein Dor, south of the mountain, is the site of ancient Endor, where King Saul unsuccessfully beseeched the spirit of the prophet Samuel for help before his fateful (and fatal) battle against the Philistines (I Samuel 28:3–25).

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Tabor Winery

An excellent time-out from historical sights, this winery was founded in 1999. Chill out with a cheese platter while tasting the winery's finest vintages. Tours are available for groups of more than 10 participants.

Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael Ave., 1524100, Israel
04-676–0444
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed Sat.